For any of you that have attended a Taketime Together Group you’re probably familiar with moving, heart-warming and Godly encounters. From time to time, you may have also witnessed creative or abstract encounters. As we say at our meetings: “whatever you experience is OK”.

However, sometimes our Taketime Together Groups don’t always go to plan and our experiences are a little more out of the ordinary. I’m sure some of you may have had to ignore unexpected noises inside and outside your meeting rooms, clocks falling off walls or on one occasion at our own Group, a repair man walking into our room in the middle of our meditation to fix the lift and refusing to leave!

My own encounter this week was a little more painful. We had just finished our sharing session on Zoom, and I was about to read our closing prayer, when my cat dropped a dead squirrel at my feet. Assuming the poor animal had passed away, I picked him up to take him outside. At that point, the squirrel came back to life, took hold of my finger in a vice like grip and wouldn’t let go. I’m not sure who was more surprised – me, the squirrel, my cat or the members of our group on the Zoom call as I screamed like a banshee. After what seemed like a lifetime but was probably only seconds, the squirrel let go and I was left with a bloodied, mangled finger. I still managed to get the squirrel into a box and while he went off to the Wildlife Centre down the road, I was at the hospital being patched up.

I’m not sure what the moral of this story is but perhaps it is to expect the unexpected and have a second leader at your group who can close the meeting for you should you ever get bitten by a wild animal!